There are three states we can find ourselves in – the past, the present, or the future.
(The following description is based on having negative thoughts, as having positive thoughts won’t normally be a problem.)
When we spend too much time in the future, we worry, this brings about some degree of stress and anxiety because we FEAR a potentially negative outcome. If we spend too much time in this state, our stress can be debilitating, and the repercussions can be lethal at the extreme. In the less extreme, being a worrier, or stressful, can give us a very unpleasant 20, 30, 40 or 50 years of life. Continuous and long term stress is a habit.
Living in the past does not mean fear. You cannot fear what happened ten years ago, unless you killed somebody and you fear that some day you will get caught. The past is a distant memory, it can’t travel in time to affect us in any way, shape, or form.
Depression can come about from any one of three reasons.
1 – You suffered a traumatic experience.
2 – You are born with a chemical or neurological deficiency or problem that causes you to be depressed, or bipolar.
3 – You can actually inherit, or learn growing up, depression from parents. It is socially transferable. (Look up mirror neurons)
Number 2 is a serious one because it generally means that you can never get rid of it. Perhaps you can manage it with therapy and medication, but it will always be there in the background. The other two however, can be addressed, it takes a lot of time and effort but it’s doable.
The last state of being (other than in the future or the past) is the present. Unless you are in a war zone, or in some other such physical state that keeps you in a constant state of fear, then being in the present moment is the best place to be because your present is generally a very safe place to be.
I’m not talking about the current house you live in or the current job you have. I’m talking about the current cup of coffee you have in your hand right now, at this precise moment in time. That present.
Please understand that emotions are just one thing, and nothing else, they are the end result of your thoughts. Whether your thoughts are of the past, the present, or the future, whether they are of a positive or negative nature, they WILL give you some kind of emotion or another. Every time.
You can’t control how you feel about any given thing. If you hate social injustice, it will upset you every time you think about it. You can’t change that. If you had a bad childhood, it will give you either anger or sadness every time you think about it etc.
You have NO control over your emotions. It’s important to understand this. BUT…Emotions are the result of your thoughts, every time. Your thoughts, now that is THE ONLY thing in this life, on this planet, today, tomorrow, or yesterday, that you have absolute control over. There is nothing else that you have absolute control over. Not your spouse, your children, or your dog…Not even your pet goldfish.
Your thoughts….. You can CHOOSE to change what you’re thinking about whenever you want. All you have to do is to just decide, to make up your mind to think about something else. In doing so, you have taken control over the end result of your thoughts, which is what? Your emotions. See?
I know it sounds simplistic, but it’s a reality. I know this from personal experience. If you bear with me just a little bit longer I’d like to share something with you, but keep in mind, I’m the happiest man alive today.
I was born into a very violent family. I was unwanted. I never, ever heard my parents express love to each other or to us kids. EVER. They never taught us anything about life. Hell, they never even spoke to us, about anything.. No kisses, hugs, affection, love, nothing.
As if that wasn’t enough to make us kids end up in a rubber room, here’s another one. When I was 20 years old I was driving my car at high speed and smashed it. It was a country road, at night. The car flipped once and then rolled another four or five times.
When the car finally stopped rolling, I turned to the side, I asked my mother if she was alright but she was dead. Just like that. Massive head injuries.
I was just 20.
My dad had left us the year before so being the only boy in the house ( I have two sisters), my mother leaned on me a lot.
Three years later I got married, had two kids. Marriage didn’t work because I was a bloody mess. I was a very angry man, bitter and bad tempered. Quick tempered too. But never violent. Three years after that my marriage failed, I never saw my two babies again until they were in the late teens. By now they thought I was an ass hole so they didn’t want to know me. (They lived in another country.)
At age 30 I married again. This time I went all out. I managed to marry a damaged soul that screwed with my head for 17 years. My depression, by now mostly because of her, had me almost dying. I lost so much weight I looked like I was in the last stages of cancer, or worse. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t eat. My organs had started to shut down.
A doctor told me that if I didn’t change something, I’d suffer a very painful death in just months. Though all I wanted for years and years was just to die, something flipped inside of me and I decided to live, in other words, I changed my mind. That simple.
I went into an internal trip that lasted a few years. I started meditating and riding a mountain bike. At first I managed to go about four houses down, that’s all I could manage. Eventually I was riding for two to three hours, at three quarter pace. I was fit, I put on weight, my heart, mind, body and soul were recovering, and well.
I kept it up for a while until I changed my life. Eventually I left her when she became physically violent. And I’ve been on my own for nearly five years. And happy every day.
I told you what I did physically to recover. Now I’ll tell you what I did mentally.
1 – I meditated every night.
2 – I controlled what I thought about, 24/7. By controlling my thoughts, I control my emotions. I laugh every day, and I make those around me laugh as well.
3 – I watched nothing but comedy on youtube, every day, for as long as I could. I just laughed. My Endorphins were in surplus at the time, as they are now. Because I laugh a lot.
4 – NO TV or any other media at all….EVER!!!!!
5 – I practiced mindfulness all day, every day.
6 – I practiced gratitude every day all day. Even for my coffee, or for my cup, or for my teaspoon, my shower, clothes, bike, ability to physically being able to take care of my own needs, like dressing, bathing, and feeding myself. A lot of people can’t even scratch their own nose.
I changed and grew. Some people didn’t like the changes. They left all on their own, without me having to tell them. New people came into my life, better people. Opportunities came and are still coming, even when I do nothing to look for them.
Bottom line, if I was able to change my mind, anyone can. I have a strong mind and character. I tamed that.
If you can make your mind up to control your thoughts and keep bringing them back to positive thoughts, then you can control your emotions by default.
Stop living in the past. Don’t live in the future. Stay grounded, and rooted in the present moment, in whatever you’re doing right now.
Be grateful you have everything that you have. If you don’t have much, be grateful for your health, or in the least of cases, be grateful for your ability to think. That is the greatest gift we’ve been given.
You can heal your life. You have nothing to lose, and remember, Thoughts Have Power.
You can find out more about Taming Life – Happiness Is Not a Myth, and Stress – Understanding The Battle Within by clicking on the images below.
All rights reserved. © 2017 Tony Jarrah